Antioxidants can bolster your cat's immune system and help her fight off the effects of aging, heart disease, cancers and other diseases caused by free-radicals. But which antioxidants are best for cats?
Always make sure to talk with your vet before putting your pets on a supplement plan.
Single Ingredients vs. Supplements
Joseph Demers, a holistic veterinarian and top pet cancer researcher based in Melborne, Fla., says the single-ingredient approach to feline cancer prevention and treatment will not accomplish much. Rather, Demers recommends products containing "a combination of natural compounds and herbal extracts in a liposomal delivery system," such as Life One. Demers does, however, acknowledge that certain herbs have strong antioxidant qualities for cats.
According to the Penn State University, cat's claw is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Cat's claw also might be a critical ingredient in the fight against some cancer cells.
Several brands of holistic and herbal feline supplements tout the effects of cat's claw and prominently feature it among their lists of ingredients.
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Astragalus has gained some traction in recent years as a holistic treatment method for cancer and extended lifespans in humans. Historically, it has been used for healthy blood-sugar levels and increased vitality. The herb recently has become a staple in feline supplements for its promise as an enhancer of T-cells. Be warned, though -- a 1998 study by J.L. Rios and P.G. Waterman found that astragalus can suppress the immune system in combination with some medications.
Vitamins A,C and E
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According to HolisticPetInfo.com, a proper balance of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, among other minerals, is vital to all pets' overall health. Vitamin A is essential for the growth and repair of body tissues, protecting mucous membranes and protects against pollutants. Vitamin C strengthens blood and enhances T-cell production to fight off immunity diseases such as feline AIDS. Vitamin E helps oxygenate the blood, repair capillary walls and slow the aging process.